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- TD Canada Trust offers tips and advice to avoid missing payments -

TORONTO, July 15 /CNW/ - Over half of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents don't think missing a bill will result in interest charges and the misconception is proving costly as many learn about interest the hard way! Almost one-in-five in the province report paying more than $50 a year in penalties because of missed or late payments. These are findings from the TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Poll.

"Paying interest and late charges on missed bills, even a few times a year, is like throwing money away," says Russell. "One of the easiest ways to save money and protect your credit score, is to pay bills on time and online. Make sure you have the right everyday bank account - it should include features and services that help make it easy for you to pay your bills on time, keep your payments organized and avoid interest and late charges. If not, you should consider making a change."

Russell recommends the following five tips to avoid late bill payments:

<< 1. Have your bills sent to you electronically. It can be easier to keep track of than stacks of paper. And it is more environmentally- friendly too. 2. Set-up pre-authorized withdrawals from your everyday bank account for your utilities and other bills 3. Set-up an automatic transfer to pay your credit card's minimum or total balance each month so that you can be sure to never miss a payment 4. Avoid the hassle and cost of finding envelopes, cheques and stamps by paying your bills online or over the phone or at an ABM - this can easily save you $50 a year 5. Post-date your online bill payments for a few days before the due date to allow time for processing. Why give away your money before it is necessary? >>

"If you routinely miss your bill payments each month, it can impact your credit rating," says Carrie Russell, Senior Vice President, TD Canada Trust. "Missing payments by more than 30 days could influence your likelihood to secure a future loan or a credit card because credit-granting companies look at past performance on bill payments as an indicator of future behaviour. It is essential to pay your bills on time. Why jeopardize your ability to access credit in the future?"

Why do people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan miss payments?

Fifty-five per cent of people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan report that they miss paying bills on time. The top reasons for missing payments are that they forgot to pay on time (68%), they forgot to check the due date (53%) or they misplaced the bill (52%).

An overwhelming number of people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan receive their bills in the mail (94%). Interestingly, people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are most likely in Canada to report that they miss bill payments because they neglected to open the mail (30%).

How do people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan pay their bills?

According to the TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Poll, people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are most the likely in the country to use online banking (68%). Though most popular in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, online banking is a national trend, and is particularly popular for those under the age of 50. Seventy-five per cent of those 18-to-29 pay their bills online and 78% of those 30-to-49 pay their bills online.

Other popular forms of payment in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are pre-authorized payment from a chequing account (53%), paying bills at the branch (40%) and sending a cheque in the mail (21%).

When do people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan pay?

Only one-third of people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan say that they pay their bills as close to the due date as possible. Another third pays their bills as they come in and one quarter collect all their bills each month and pay them at the same time.

Who pays the bills in Manitoba and Saskatchewan?

Sixty-four per cent of people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan say that they are the ones who pay the household bills. Another 11% say that they share the responsibility with their partner and 13% say that their partner pays the bills.

About the TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Campaign

TD Canada Trust is offering an incentive for new customers who switch to TD Canada Trust. If new customers open a Select Service or Infinity Chequing Account, add its convenient banking services, and get approved for an eligible TD Canada Trust Credit Card by July 23, 2010, then TD Canada Trust will give the new customer a $250 Cash Bonus. For more information about the promotion visit or call 1-800-387-8550.

About the TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Poll

The TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Poll surveyed 1,002 adult Canadians, including 65 from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, between May 18-26, 2010. Results for this study were collected through Environics Research Group's national omnibus study.

About TD Bank Financial Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 18 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$574 billion in assets on April 30, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

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